It’s a Boy!
Well, the excitement here in London is palpable! The moment that half the country — and it seems half the world — has been waiting for has finally arrived. About 8.30pm this evening in London, or 4.30am (on July 23rd) in Japan, Kensington Palace announced that Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, has given birth to a baby boy.
The future king was born at 4.24pm BST (British Summer Time) in the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, west London, weighing 8lb 6oz (eight pounds six ounces), or 3.68kg. His father, Prince William, was born in the same hospital 31 years and one month ago.
Although the Royal Family had intended to wait and announce the birth in the traditional way, there was a last minute change of plan. This gave crowds of overseas visitors, as well as Britons, the chance to rush to the famous gates of Buckingham Palace in time to see the official notice arrive.
Typed on a simple foolscap sheet of paper, it was taken by car to the Palace. There, it was framed and placed on an easel just inside the gates. The message it contains is short, but is historic and traditional. It reads:
‘Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24 pm.
Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.’
The sheet was signed by the four members of the medical team who were present at the birth, and was dated 22nd July, 2013.
We don’t yet know the baby’s name but we do know that he will be known as His Royal Highness, the Prince of Cambridge. He is now third in line to the throne, after his grandfather, Prince Charles, known as the Prince of Wales, and his father Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.
This is only the second time in history that there have been three heirs to the throne at the same time. The previous occasion was in 1894 when the present queen’s grand-uncle, was born. He (King Edward VIII) abdicated from the throne in 1936 in favour of the Queen’s father (King George VI).
It’s getting dark here now but hundreds of people are still inching their way towards the gates, desperate to see the announcement for themselves and to capture an image of it. Commentators are comparing the excitement of the crowds, the atmosphere, and the occasion to that of the Royal wedding, and of the Olympics last summer.
BT (British Telecom), one of the biggest telecom providers in this country, has lit up the BT tower in London with the message ‘It’s a Boy!’ and images of storks delivering a baby, all in blue. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, has announced that the fountains in Trafalgar Square will be lit in blue for the next seven days.
‘It’s a Boy!’ or ‘It’s a Girl!’ is the message generally written on baby cards, balloons, and soft toys here to celebrate the birth of a baby. Baby boys are traditionally dressed in blue, while baby girls are traditionally dressed in pink.
Good wishes are pouring in from across the country and across the world for the parents and their baby. The Duke of Cambridge has issued a brief message to say that he and the Duchess ‘couldn’t be happier’. The Queen has said that she and Prince Philip are ‘delighted’, and the proud grandfather, Prince Charles has said that he and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, are ‘overjoyed’.
The thrill, the excitement, the joy are so intense that anyone would think the child might be crowned tomorrow. With Prince William spending the night at the hospital with his wife and baby, it is likely that the new parents will present the little prince to the world on the hospital steps tomorrow, just as Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, did 31 years ago. That really will be a moment to drive the crowd wild!